How much libtery does the word fantasy give?

Discussion in 'Fantasy Weapons and Armour' started by Dragon Song, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Dragon Song

    Dragon Song The Soul Reaper

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    This topic was brought on by a blog that I read regularly which focuses on the discussion of weapons, and one issue which was brought up and that I have discussed with the blog owner was the fact that some sword designers will set out to make a fantasy version of a particularly kind of weapon but in doing so the result will not truly resemble its namesake in the design and construction of it.

    An example of what I mean, is one of the weapons discussed within the blog was called a Fantasy Demon Slayer Katana, but the sword lacked all of the elements which actually make a katana a katana.

    Another was a Fantasy Dragon Bowie, the knife did not in fact resemble anything about a traditional bowie.

    When it comes to fantasy, are there no limits, and can a weapon be completely and totally altered for the sake of achieving a certain look, or if a person sets out to make a specific type of weapon, should it keep some of its traditional characteristics, while still incorporating a fantasy design?

    Furthermore, what is the point, of trying to dub a weapon with a specific name, when it resembles nothing about its traditional counterpart, if the maker generally liked the style of the katana for example then I would think they would want to incorporate those things into the making of the weapon.

    Or do they just think it will sound cooler to name the blade after weapons that they perceive as being popular.
     
  2. CaPtYnCrOnIc

    CaPtYnCrOnIc The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Well I personally think that the weapons' namesakes could be chalked up to simple marketing strategies without regard for what type of weapon it really is. The designer might not have even been the one to ultimitly name said weapon either.

    I do not like the idea of a designer starting a design with a katana in mind ending up with a broadsword and still calling it a katana. Kinda like calling a spoon a fork ya know?
     
  3. dragonfly

    dragonfly Natures little helicopter

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    I think there are many people who have the skills to impress but don't have the creativity to come up with an original work. Thus you gat the mix of ideas in design, construction and naming. But I personally think, why have a katana if you're not Japanese. I think if you want a sword, you should have one just like you imagined, not like the one you saw on e-bay and it should be called what ever you would call it. Not Bowie or Katana or Samauri or Excalibur. Because you will never be a samauri warrior or a roman soldier but you can always be the guy who has a one of a kind sword named Fred on his wall that he can run through the streets cleaving demons with at any time (should the need arise), or would you choose the dragon slayer katana ( no no no, old faithful fred, YOUR sword). Reproductions are for people that want something that someone else has already got. It's fantasy, the liberty is boundless. Just try and be original.
     
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  4. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    The word fantasy gives an unlimited liberty. The word describes sort of describes itself.

    Although in terms of weapons I believe any sword can be constructed, but it should be given an appropirate name. An already existing weapon has that specific name due to its characteristics such as shape. It would be no good to have a straight 6inch wide blade that's 6ft long and call it a scimitar now would it?
     
  5. Ender-Zero

    Ender-Zero Ruff Mercenary

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    Fantasy can be anything, high or middle, it matters not. Fantasy is a wide umbrella encompassing many sub-genre's.
     
  6. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    The word "fantasy" gives as much liberty as we allow it to give.

    If people refused to buy a curved, single-edged, crossless "orc-maiming longsword" because it isn't a longsword the idiots who make and mislabel them would stop mislabelling them.

    Now if we could only convince fantasy fans that a late medieval arming sword isn't a longsword the world would be perfect.
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Well, back to reality, we must agree that just about any shape, size and form of sword has at least been tried - and a lot of them actually saw use. Which means there are indeed a lot of shapes in swording with names.

    I have always considered naming as one of the most essential parts of fantasy; stick to the name people have come up with in the past, be it recent or centuries ago and, if need be, mold the definition to your cause. And if the shape is so unique - and have gone through all the trouble of developing it to the stage where it can at least be drawn out, it's yours to name...
     
  8. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    But that leaves the question of which name to apply.

    Is this,

    [​IMG]

    a sabre, sable, scimitar, shamshir, or shashqa?

    Is this

    [​IMG]

    a longsword, or is this

    [​IMG]?

    In both cases, the answer depends on who you ask.
     
  9. CaPtYnCrOnIc

    CaPtYnCrOnIc The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I'd call the first a saber maybe a shamshir but the hilt looks saberish

    2nds a short sword i think

    third's a longsword or a claymore. Could even be one of those monster "three handers" but it looks like two or two in a half max.
     
  10. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    The first is a shashqa (or shashka or likely a dozen other spellings), but no one knows that word. It is likely what GRRM names an arakh.

    The second is a late medieval sword. A modern hoplologist - or a medieval knight - would call it an arming or side sword; a D&D player would call it a longsword. The blade is well over 24", so you can't really call it a short sword.

    The third is also late medieval. A modern hoplologist - or a medieval knight - would call it a longsword; a D&D player would call it a bastard sword.

    But the point of the post is that different people call these swords by different names for many reasons, legitimate or not. While I agree with Turambar that naming the sword - and naming it properly - is important in fantasy, picking the best name is kind of a tricky process.

    BTW, "three hander?" Should that be "two hander?"
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008